gimmick

[ gim-ik ]
/ ˈgɪm ɪk /

noun

an ingenious or novel device, scheme, or stratagem, especially one designed to attract attention or increase appeal.
a concealed, usually devious aspect or feature of something, as a plan or deal: An offer that good must have a gimmick in it somewhere.
a hidden mechanical device by which a magician works a trick or a gambler controls a game of chance.
Electronics Informal. a capacitor formed by intertwining two insulated wires.

verb (used with object)

to equip or embellish with unnecessary features, especially in order to increase salability, acceptance, etc. (often followed by up): to gimmick up a sports car with chrome and racing stripes.

verb (used without object)

to resort to gimmickry, especially habitually.

Origin of gimmick

An Americanism dating back to 1925–30; origin uncertain

Related forms

gim·mick·er, noungim·mick·y, adjectiveun·gim·mick·y, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for gimmicky

British Dictionary definitions for gimmicky

gimmick

/ (ˈɡɪmɪk) /

noun

something designed to attract extra attention, interest, or publicity
any clever device, gadget, or stratagem, esp one used to deceive
mainly US a device or trick of legerdemain that enables a magician to deceive the audience

Derived Forms

gimmickry, noungimmicky, adjective

Word Origin for gimmick

C20: originally US slang, of unknown origin
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012